PSAC video highlights cuts to federal labs and research funding

Apr 23, 2012, 10:30 ET from PSAC

OTTAWA, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - The Public Service Alliance of Canada released a new video as part of its Third Choice campaign today, ehighlighting the impact of cuts to federal labs and science funding.

Since the announcement of the Federal Budget 2012 two weeks ago, the government has quietly shut down several labs and research centres across Canada. This will have a profound impact on the health and well being of Canadians. The research done in these federal labs is groundbreaking and protects human health and the environment.

The cuts to labs include the National Research Council laboratories, a food inspection lab in St. John's, the Centre for Plant Health, and the Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg.

More than $13 million in cuts to Environment Canada in 2012-13 will slash scientific research and monitoring programs, eliminating federal environmental reviews for major resource extraction projects. The National Research Council recently told staff that it will wind down research operations in Winnipeg and Calgary, laying off staff by the end summer. Health Canada plans to cut more than $100 million in this year alone, decimating the research capacity of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other key policy areas.

The video features a giant squirrel trashing a government lab and releasing the H1N1 virus into the air. The squirrel represents the government and the reckless and dangerous cuts it is making to government science.  The government is forcing Canadians to choose between a strong economy and strong public services, which is as absurd as a giant squirrel showing up in a lab.

Paying off the deficit also seems like a great idea, until you realize it comes at the expense of services like the development of life-saving flu vaccines and other services which come from government investment in scientific research.

"Cuts to government labs and scientific research threaten Canadians' health, safety and economic security," says John Gordon, National President of PSAC. "Now is the time to invest in research that will promote clean energy, prevent illnesses and protect our environment. Reckless cuts will leave Canada floundering in the midst of a knowledge-based economy."

Visit to see the video and read a backgrounder on cuts to government labs and scientific research.